US farmers blame EU intransigence for “uncertain” state of TTIP

The future of the TTIP, the free-trade talks between the US and the EU, has reached a point where the prospect of a deal is now is “more uncertain” than ever, according to farm industry comments coming from the US.

The perception from the other side of the “pond” is that while the EU is willing to eliminate tariffs on nearly all goods, it remains unwilling to eliminate them on poultry, beef and pork.

As a result, the latest round of talks on TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership), held in New York City last week, were deemed to have made “little progress” with US negotiators “even rejecting an EU request for three days of agriculture talks”.

These comments, released by the country’s National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) reflect the organisation’s stance on behalf of its farming members across 43 state associations.

“We support the TTIP but are sceptical of progress being made on it based on the intransigence of the EU on various issues,” it said, adding that the EU has indicated it would allow some market access for ‘sensitive’ products, including meat, if the US accedes to the EU’s demands on reciprocal access and on protections for products labelled with geographical indications, such as Cognac, Roquefort cheese and Parma hams.

The organisation concluded its TTIP review with the comment that the future of the TTIP now is “more uncertain”.

“Last month, EU trade ministers expressed doubts about getting the trade deal completed before the end of the Obama administration (Jan. 20, 2017), and several called for a pause in negotiations,” it said, pointing out that no further talks are scheduled beyond October.

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